Applied (professional) higher education is higher education of the first cycle, the purpose of which is to acquire the competencies necessary for working in a certain profession or for continuing studies at the master’s level. The nominal duration of programmes is 3 to 4 years (180-240 ECTS credits). Midwifery studies and specialized nursing studies last 4.5 years (270 ECTS credits). The qualification gives access to master’s programmes.
The most significant difference between bachelor studies and applied (professional) higher education is the percentage of practical work. In Bachelor studies the amount of compulsory practical work is 1 month, in applied (professional) higher education 7,5 months, i.e. 30 per cent of the curriculum. Therefore, all the graduates of applied (professional) higher education have got work experience and an idea of the acquired profession. The requirements for the academic staff also differ: applied (professional) institutions of higher education require a three-year professional experience from its lecturers. This ensures conformity of theory and practice in the study process.
Master’s programmes are second-cycle higher education programmes. The purpose of master’s level studies is to develop the knowledge and skills required for a certain field of study and to acquire the necessary competences in order to enter the labour market or to continue studies at the doctoral level. The access requirement is a first-cycle higher education qualification. The nominal duration of the programmes is 1 to 2 years (60-120 ECTS credits), but together with the first-cycle studies it is at least 5 years (300 ECTS credits).
Read more: Higher Education Act